Judd Trump 'on his own' in wanting World Snooker Championship to leave Crucible Theatre in Sheffield
Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre has been defended as the rightful home of the World Snooker Championship after Judd Trump called for the sport’s showpiece event to move to a bigger venue.
The world number two, who lifted the trophy in 2019, this week claimed it was time for the tournament to move somewhere with a considerably larger capacity than the little under 1,000 spectators The Crucible can hold.
“It’s an amazing venue but is it the best place for the World Championship now? Probably not, I don’t think,” Trump told Metro.co.uk.
“It needs a historic, prestigious event there. Maybe put the UK Championship there but the Worlds needs to go to a bigger venue, for me.”
The World Snooker Championship has been staged at The Crucible since 1977 and a deal is in place to keep it there until at least 2027.
Six-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan last year said The Crucible was ‘important’ to the game and he believed it would ‘never die’, while World Snooker Tour boss Barry Hearn has previously said he would buy the venue if needs be to keep the season-ending event at its traditional Sheffield home.
Hosting the tournament is estimated to boost Sheffield’s economy by £3m each year.
Responding to Trump’s comments, former Sheffield MP and sports minister Richard Caborn said: “He seems to be very much on his own. All the players past and present I’ve spoken to have said consistently that it’s the atmosphere inside The Crucible which makes it such an amazing occasion and there’s no other stadium in the world for snooker which generates the same atmosphere.
“It gets the biggest TV viewing figures of any snooker tournament, which gives the sport massive exposure around the world.
“The Chinese have even built their own replica of The Crucible, which shows that it can’t be beaten for snooker.
“We’re the city of sport. We have the English Institute of Sport and the Olympic Legacy Park. Sport is in our DNA, and I’m confident snooker is staying here.”
The Star contacted Sheffield Theatres and the World Snooker Tour for a response to Trump’s comments but neither responded.